Noordam Cruise Review to Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

Contributor Level: Purser

Experience
1 cruise (first)

Review
1

Helpful Vote
1

4 out of 5

A Great way to check off a line from my Bucket List.

Sail Date: July 17, 2016

Reviewed: 4 months ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Suite

Being a first time cruiser, I have nothing to compare the cruise with.However, I feel Holland America knows how to make the Alaskan Cruise a special experience.  I cannot say enough about the staff. They were friendly, informative, accommodating, efficient, and provided impeccable service.  The food throughout the ship was great.  The dining room menu was creative and provided something for everyone. The buffet, too, had a wide selection of choices. Check out the burger at the poolside grill!  It is as good as any at gourmet burger restaurants.  My spa experiences were equally as good.  It was obvious the ship's captain wanted to showcase the Alaskan landscape and was an excellent wildlife spotter, important for an Alaskan cruise. The entertainment is overall OK, but loved the band in the BB King Blues Lounge and the Piano Bar entertainer. Besides, we were tired in the evenings from shore excursions and cruise activities.  The reason I cannot give the cruise 5 stars is there was a mechanical issue with a part of the ship (non-navigational) and it cost a nearly an entire day of the cruise/excursions.   I am looking forward to cruising again.

Cabin / Stateroom
Only issue was very different lighting configuration. Bathroom update may be needed.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Ship Quality
Destinations and Excursions
Onboard Activities
Children's Programs N/A
Entertainment
Service and Staff
Food and Dining
Seward (Anchorage), Alaska If traveling from Anchorage that day, no time to see it.
Cruise Glacier Bay
Make sure you are outside and spend at least part of your time in the Crow's Nest. Have a pair of binoculars on hand. Go to the Park Ranger program in the morning.
Haines, Alaska
The White Pass ferry/train that starts in Skagway takes up your entire time. There is a "red light" saloon that is fun, the Red Onion.
Juneau, Alaska
See the Mendenhall Glacier from the water. Go on one of the whale watching trips. Check out the Red Dog Saloon.
Ketchikan, Alaska
Visit the Creek St. historic district and the Totem Pole Heritage Center.
Cruise Inside Passage, Alaska
Get up early and watch for whales, dolphin, and orcas.
Vancouver (Canada Place), British Columbia
The trip to Butchart Gardens is great. You may see whales from the ferry. If you can overnight in Victoria do it. Dinner at the Gardens is beautiful.

Tip

Try the "Pub Crawl". Consider cost of laundry, if adding a land portion. You may want to see if there is an upgrade to pay for this.



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